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Cappies review: Dubourg's Acts of God takes an emotional journey

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 6, 2012 - A lot of times people associate tornadoes with destruction and demolition of towns, cities and homes. Families are torn apart and the community is left in shambles with only pure desperation forcing people to put their lives back together. But people often disregard the inner tornado that develops in one’s head after living though such a traumatic event. Bishop Dubourg High School’s production of “Acts of God” showcases this concept in a creative and powerful way.

“Acts of God” was written and directed by Mark Rigney, and made its debut in 2006 in an Evansville, Ind., theater. The play follows the recently decimated lives of 12 teenagers. All from different walks of life, the kids are united when an F3 tornado strikes their town and their homes. At the beginning, the teens are showcased in two different groups: the trailer trash and the rich kids. But through their individual losses, they gain something that only survivors of a life-changing event can share: an unspoken bond of understanding and support that none of them ever expected.

Maria Frazier, played by Hannah Gibbons, narrates the show and walks us through the year after the tornado, highlighting some personal storm testimonies along the way. Maria is helped with the narration by fellow student Fernando Arroyo, played by Mario Meyer. Both Meyer and Gibbons displayed much talent and commitment to their character throughout the performance. Even when not in the spotlight, Gibbons and Meyer stayed in character and reacted appropriately to both the lighthearted jokes and the heavily emotional displays.

Ali Linderer, who played Kim Packard, also gave a very praiseworthy performance. Throughout the first act, her character was left mysterious, only to reveal an emotionally charged and moving monologue near the end of Act 2. Linderer showed much honesty in her expressions and emotions, which could have been difficult with such a heavy role. Evan Turek, playing Zach Mencherian did a lovely job with natural stage presence and a captivating tone of voice.

As a whole, the cast had great energy throughout the performance and had a great portrayal of some tough issues and emotions. Though the subject was heavy, the actors were able to give the production some comedy through some of their characters’ quirks. The beginning of Act 2 dragged a bit but the end was much to be appreciated as powerful scenes built on each other and created some very moving moments.

The simplicity of the set left much imagination to the audience and a lot of freedom for the actors, which was a creative thing to see. The sound system was very strong in the microphone department but some of the sound effects and music didn’t fit well within the production. Some of the parts of the stage were poorly lit at certain points in the play but they were quickly adjusted and, for a majority of the show, the lighting was done well.

Bishop DuBourg’s production of "Acts of God"was an emotional journey that took the audience to a world that many may never experience in their own lives. They taught us that sometimes it’s important to put down your rakes, remove your helmets, and learn and grow from the things that have happened in the past.

Madison Farrar of Pattonville High School Publish Date: 2012-11-06 07:50:37 Author: Madison Farrar Position: of Pattonville High School Cappies review: Dubourg's Acts of God takes an emotional journey

A lot of times people associate tornadoes with destruction and demolition of towns, cities and homes. Families are torn apart and the community is left in shambles with only pure desperation forcing people to put their lives back together. But people often disregard the inner tornado that develops in one’s head after living though such a traumatic event. Bishop Dubourg High School’s production of “Acts of God” showcases this concept in a creative and powerful way.

“Acts of God” was written and directed by Mark Rigney, and made its debut in 2006 in an Evansville, Ind., theater. The play follows the recently decimated lives of 12 teenagers. All from different walks of life, the kids are united when an F3 tornado strikes their town and their homes. At the beginning, the teens are showcased in two different groups: the trailer trash and the rich kids. But through their individual losses, they gain something that only survivors of a life-changing event can share: an unspoken bond of understanding and support that none of them ever expected.

ASIDE

Maria Frazier, played by Hannah Gibbons, narrates the show and walks us through the year after the tornado, highlighting some personal storm testimonies along the way. Maria is helped with the narration by fellow student Fernando Arroyo, played by Mario Meyer. Both Meyer and Gibbons displayed much talent and commitment to their character throughout the performance. Even when not in the spotlight, Gibbons and Meyer stayed in character and reacted appropriately to both the lighthearted jokes and the heavily emotional displays.

Ali Linderer, who played Kim Packard, also gave a very praiseworthy performance. Throughout the first act, her character was left mysterious, only to reveal an emotionally charged and moving monologue near the end of Act 2. Linderer showed much honesty in her expressions and emotions, which could have been difficult with such a heavy role. Evan Turek, playing Zach Mencherian did a lovely job with natural stage presence and a captivating tone of voice.

As a whole, the cast had great energy throughout the performance and had a great portrayal of some tough issues and emotions. Though the subject was heavy, the actors were able to give the production some comedy through some of their characters’ quirks. The beginning of Act 2 dragged a bit but the end was much to be appreciated as powerful scenes built on each other and created some very moving moments.

The simplicity of the set left much imagination to the audience and a lot of freedom for the actors, which was a creative thing to see. The sound system was very strong in the microphone department but some of the sound effects and music didn’t fit well within the production. Some of the parts of the stage were poorly lit at certain points in the play but they were quickly adjusted and, for a majority of the show, the lighting was done well.

Bishop DuBourg’s production of "Acts of God"was an emotional journey that took the audience to a world that many may never experience in their own lives. They taught us that sometimes it’s important to put down your rakes, remove your helmets, and learn and grow from the things that have happened in the past.

Madison Farrar is a student at Pattonville High School. The Cappies program works with high school writers who review high school theatrical productions.

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